Sunday, December 23, 2012

What about 'No man with a gun'?

Onward! 4LAKids
4LAKids: Sunday 23•Dec•2012
In This Issue:
 •  BATTLING OVER SCHOOL GRANTS: Another tussle between the teachers union and the school reform movement, this time over grant applications + smf's 2¢
 •  ROCK ME, MERCY: a poem written in mourning
 •  HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources
 •  What can YOU do?

Featured Links:
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 •  4LAKids Anthology: All the Past Issues, solved, resolved and unsolved!
 •  4LAKidsNews: a compendium of recent items of interest - news stories, scurrilous rumors, links, academic papers, rants and amusing anecdotes, etc.
In the aftermath of Sandy Hook there were some solutions offered, as the week rolled on the solutions got comparatively and superlatively worse and worst.

The best thinking actually came locally, from LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who announced that LAPD officers – uniform and plain clothes – would visit and engage with every school in LAUSD every school day. Sherriff Baca and local law enforcement in many of the twenty-some odd jurisdictions LAUSD operates in followed suit.

This creates a strong partnership between the schools and the police and the community – it is community policing at it’s best – and it creates a deterrent effect for those intent on creating mayhem on a school campus. It’s imperfect – because school shooters generally don’t act rationally – and self destruction is part+parcel of their scenario (see Remembering Elementary School Shootings of the Past, following). If police officers are to be frequent guests or partners on school campuses everyone must be careful that they do not become part of the schools disciple policy – one doesn’t want the visiting officer enforcing tardy sweeps or misbehavior issues.

The plans espoused later in the week swiftly go from good the bad thinking and then escalate from worse to worst.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA [Marin County]) suggested on Wednesday that the National Guard patrol school campuses – beginning in January! The last time National Guard troops occupied a U.S. public school under arms was at Little Rock Central High School in 1957. I think this is the same Senator Boxer who had reservations about ROTC on college campuses and military recruiters at high schools. Having the military occupy our schools seems pretty bizarre – especially having it done by reservists who actually have other jobs. I’m unclear if the senator is proposing a federal call-up – and whether troops returning from Kandahar Province will be directly redeployed to PS 137 in the Bronx …or Carpenter Avenue in Studio City. National Guardsmen, unlike policemen, work in units rather than individually. Can a fireteam secure an elementary school? …a squad a middle school? …a platoon at a high school? There are schools in LAUSD where Seal Team Six might be challenged.

Compared to the above the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre’s suggestion that a police officer at every school all day long every day seems dimly enlightened (“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun”*) A dedicated school policeman at every school with the specialized training to work around kids and school staff seems like great thinking – especially if the feds are going to pay for it.


1. With what money? The feds are about to plunge off the fiscal cliff like lemmings, Democrats+ Republicans alike, in a crisis of their own making per a deadline of their own device.
2. There are an estimated 132,656 public schools in the US – and only 30% of them have a dedicated security officer present on campus at least once a week.
3. Because LaPierre proposes to NOT take assault weapons off the street each school police officer would need to be armed to that level at the very least.
4. But if you drill down into LaPierres proposal you will see that he is really proposing NRA trained volunteers to perform this function. There is a name for armed volunteer law enforcers: They are called “vigilantes”.
* In a disappointing nod to gender equality, two recent school shooters were women. Or, to fit LaPierre’s Twitterpated bromide: “Gals”!

As I mentioned last week – and is stated below in Remembering Elementary School Shootings of the Past - the worst mass murder of students on a campus in US. History was the elaborately premeditated bombing of the Bath Consolidated School in Bath Township, MI in 1927 by a deranged school board member who had been defeated in a local election. He purchased dynamite and blasting caps and a WWI military surplus explosive product called Pyrotol on the open market.

After the Bath School Disaster the federal government banned the sale of Pyrotol and regulated the sale of dynamite – passing the legislation in record time! Assault weapons are essentially military surplus technology – they may not be actual former surplus weapons – but they are made to the specifications and design of the military. (AR-15s , the weapon used at Sandy Hook is a design for the M-16 made for the US government by Colt, ironically in Connecticut. The ubiquitous AK-47 is the same thing made for the Soviet government by Kalashnikov.) These are not target or sporting arms – there are far more accurate and better suited weapons for target shooting and hunting. They were designed to effectively, systematically and reliably kill human beings – and they are very effective.

Joe Biden has his work cut out for him.

RETURNING TO A THEME: It would be nice to have tablets and iPads and laptops for all students. But it would be better to have all the workers back or made whole who were RIFed, reduced in hours or had their bases changed. Librarians, nurses, assistant principals, psychologists. It would be better to have strong after school and early childhood ed; adult ed and arts and music programs. It would be better to adequate counselors. It would be far, far better to have safe and healthy and clean schools.

That is something worth wanting for Christmas.

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf


By Louis Freedberg, EdSource Today |

December 16th, 2012 | When will we ever learn?

Almost a quarter century ago, California experienced the horror of an elementary school massacre when five children were killed at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton. (see following)

In that traumatic January 1989 event, barely remembered except among those whose lives were directly touched by the tragedy, Patrick Purdy, a so-called “drifter” with a long criminal record and a history of mental disturbance, entered the school grounds during recess and shot to death five children from Southeast Asian refugee families – Rathanar Or, 9; Ram Chun, 8; Sokhim An, 6; Oeun Lim, 8; and Thuy Tran, 6 – injured 29 others, and then killed himself.

Sound familiar?

The shootings triggered the usual outpouring of outrage – and the California Legislature actually responded. It passed the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989, the first state-level law to ban the possession, sale and manufacture of a long list of assault weapons in California. It was signed into law by Republican Governor George Deukmejian.

Over the years, California has passed numerous other bills, and today it is the only state to get a 4-star rating for its gun control laws from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Not surprisingly, the Roberti-Roos bill was challenged in court, resulting in a set of prohibitions that are exceedingly complex to follow, as a review of the California Department of Justice’s webpage shows, raising questions about its effectiveness. (For details on the Roberti-Roos legislation, go here:

The DOJ site declares that as a result of the legislation “AK and AR-15 series weapons are unlawful for sale after August 16, 2000, even if their assault weapon characteristics are removed.”

Yet an online ad for a Sacramento gun shop with the chillingly coincidental name Newtown Firearms describes itself as ” Sacramento’s premiere AR-15 and tactical semi auto rifle dealer.” It shows that things are not as clear cut as state authorities claim. “If you are trying to buy an AR-15 in California, you have come to the right place,” the gun shop tells prospective customers. (In fact, the Internet is filled with sites like this one [] providing advice on how to get around California’s ban on the weapon.)

And despite California’s top ranking for its gun control laws, the state’s experience underscores the limited potential of states to protect children – and adults – from the deadly impact of firearms. Just this year, another deadly attack in an education institution occurred in Oakland when a former student at a small Korean Christian university killed seven people and injured three more.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 138 children under the age of 18 were murdered in California in 2010, the last year for which figures have been compiled. Fourteen of those homicides were of children under the age of 12. Those figures don’t include the many more wounded as a result of intentional gunfire – or the 11,078 people of all ages killed nationally in 2010 by assailants wielding guns.

It is also notable that when it comes to efforts to regulate weaponry, Connecticut is not far behind California. Ranked 5th in the nation, it is one of only four states to get a 3-star rating from the Brady Center. Yet the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre took place there – in a school that had rigorous security measures in place, probably more than in most schools. As of this writing, reports say that Adam Lanza carried out his killings with weapons, including an AR-15 rifle, which appear to have been purchased legally – just as those used in the Stockton killings were in 1989.

Clearly what is needed is a national response, not a piecemeal state-by-state approach. Whatever is done has to go far beyond just reinstatement of the long-expired federal assault weapons ban that California Senator Dianne Feinstein is championing, although that would be a good start.

President Obama’s emotional speech in Newtown last night could well signal the start of a serious attempt to regulate weapons that can take the lives of 20 first graders in minutes. “We can’t tolerate this anymore,” he said. “The tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.”

With two young children of his own, and ensconced in the White House for a second term, Obama must now make this a central cause of his presidency. So far, he has fallen terribly short on the issue.

Getting a 60-vote majority in the Senate, and majority support in the House of Representatives, for any meaningful reforms will be extraordinarily difficult. Teachers, PTAs and all others who work in our schools will have to come together to push Congress to approve legislation that creates safer environments for our children – and people of all ages.

“No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society, but that can’t be an excuse for inaction,” President Obama said last night. “Surely we can do better than this.”

Surely we can. Whether we will is another question altogether.
Louis Freedberg is executive director of EdSource



by James Swift, The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange ( ) |

Dec 16, 2012 | The Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre Dec. 14 constitutes the second deadliest mass school shooting incident in American history, second only to the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre in which a single assailant murdered 32 individuals and injured 17 others.

With an estimated 26 victims dead — 20 of whom are children — the recent massacre is far and away the deadliest shooting incident to ever occur in one of the nation’s elementary schools.

Although mass shooting incidents in university and high school settings have occurred in the past, the Newtown, Conn. massacre serves as a rare instance of a perpetrator targeting elementary school students. But similar shootings have taken place.

• On Oct. 20, 2006, Charles Carl Roberts IV entered the West Nickel Mines School in Bart Township, Penn. and killed five young girls – ranging in ages from 7 to 13 – while additionally wounding five others before committing suicide.

• On Jan. 17, 1989, Patrick Purdy opened fire on a playground filled with children at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, Calif. In the three-minute rampage, Purdy killed five students and wounded an additional 29 children before turning the gun on himself.

• On Sept. 26, 1988, James William Wilson, Jr. killed two eight-year-old children and wounded seven others with a .22-caliber pistol at Oakland Elementary School in Greenwood, S.C. Wilson was sentenced to death for the attack.

• On May 20, 1988, Laurie Dann shot and killed an eight-year-old boy and wounded five other individuals in an attack that took place at Hubbard Woods Elementary School in Winnetka, Ill. She later committed suicide.

• On Feb. 24, 1984, Tyrone Mitchell killed a 10-year-old girl and wounded 11 other children when he opened fire on students exiting 49th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles. The perpetrator than killed himself with a shotgun.

• On Jan. 29, 1979, 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer injured eight children and killed two adults when she opened fire at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, Calif. She was tried as an adult and is serving a sentence of 25 years to life at the California Institute for Women.

Historically, the single deadliest attack on elementary students to ever take place in the United States occurred in Bath Township, Mich., when Andrew Kehoe — a school board treasurer alleged to have been spurred by foreclosure proceedings on his farm — killed 38 children and wounded more than 50 others in a bombing that transpired on May 18, 1927.

Tabulating school-related violent deaths, the National School Safety Center reported that from 1992 until 2010, an estimated 52 homicides occurred within the nation’s elementary schools.

The Sandy Hook shooting increased that statistic by 50 percent.


By Barbara Jones Staff Writer, LA Daily News |

12/22/2012 03:44:22 PM PST :: They teach kids to read, write and solve math problems, and to work and play well with others.

And along with those lessons, educators are increasingly being trained to spot depression, anxiety and other troubling behaviors in their students, with administrators and teachers forming the first line of defense against mental illness.

"We provide psychiatric first aid," said Ailleth Tom, who coordinates crisis counseling and mental health services for the Los Angeles Unified School District. "We really listen, protect and connect students with services.

"We don't ask, `What's wrong with you?"' she said. "We ask, `What's happened to you?"'

Speculation about the mental health of the 20-year-old gunman in the Connecticut school shootings has focused attention on the need for the early treatment of troubling behavior in the nation's adolescents and teens.

Los Angeles Unified has long partnered with local law enforcement agencies and mental health experts in Los Angeles County, where crisis- and threat-assessment teams evaluate student activity that could potentially lead to violence.

Within Los Angeles Unified, experts train principals and faculty to watch for early warning signs so kids can get help before more serious conditions develop. Any new insights that develop from the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy will be incorporated into future professional development sessions, officials say.

"We all are very aware
of the school's role in identifying problems a student may be having. We do feel that responsibility," said Judith Perez, president of Associated Administrators of Los Angeles, which represents about 3,000 principals and assistants principals in LAUSD.

With 600,000 students, LAUSD has a cadre of 300 psychiatric social workers who refer students to mental health professionals or, in some cases, hold group or individual therapy sessions on campus for kids struggling with emotional traumas like divorce, death, illness or abuse.

"They're completely busy all of the time," Superintendent John Deasy said. "There are not enough of them to deal with the problems."

Mental health services are also offered at eight clinics operated jointly by LAUSD and Los Angeles County. Sites include clinics next to Daniel Pearl High School in Lake Balboa, and at Cabrillo Elementary in San Pedro.

Christine MacInnis, a counselor at North High in the Torrance Unified School District, said counselors do not wait for students in distress to come to them.

"Half come to me on their own, and the other half are referred through a parent, teacher, coach or administrator," she said. "Teachers are probably our first line of defense, because they are the ones with them all day."

The most common warning signs are sudden changes in behavior or appearance. A strong student may lose interest in his studies, for instance, or a snappy dresser may start coming to school looking disheveled.

If Torrance High counselors suspect that a student is a danger to himself or others, they call in a Los Angeles County psychiatric evaluation team. In the extremely rare event that a child is perceived to be a threat to others, law enforcement is also notified.

In 2011-12, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health conducted more than 4,200 threat assessments involving the region's school districts, a spokeswoman said. The agency's Emergency Outreach Bureau also held some five dozen training sessions for educators, law-enforcement, parents and students.

The Sandy Hook tragedy unfolded as many school districts were preparing for winter break. Nevertheless, officials began reviewing their own operations to determine whether they needed to do more to keep campuses safe.

San Bernardino City Unified, for instance, formed a task force that includes officers from the San Bernardino and Cal State San Bernardino police forces, along with members of local churches and service clubs. They'll be looking at all aspects of student safety, including support for youngsters with mental health issues.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than 20 percent of U.S. kids ages 9-17 are struggling with a mental disorder that disrupts their lives, with symptoms appearing by age 14 in half of those cases.

However, only 20 percent of these youngsters begin treatment each year.

Experts say parents may be reluctant to seek treatment for their child because of the long-held stigma about mental disorders. Others may be in denial about troubling changes in their child's behavior, dismissing extreme mood swings, or episodes of panic, defiance or excessive hostility as just a passing phase.

This may create a delay that experts say could allow the disorder to worsen and become more difficult to treat.

"Adolescents and teens are in the midst of achieving their education, making friends and developing their identity," said Dr. Daniel Grosz, director of adolescent psychiatry at Northridge Hospital Medical Center's Behavioral Health Unit.

"If their mental illness started early in life, it's harder for them to achieve these goals. The longer we delay, the more resistant these conditions become."

Researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health studied more than 10,000 kids with mental disorders and found that panic and anxiety were the most prevalent issues, followed by ADHD, depression and drug or alcohol abuse.

Grosz said youngsters coping with these kinds of issues may display flashes of anger or aggressive behavior, but not the type of violence unleashed at Sandy Hook Elementary, where 20 children and six adults were gunned down.

"It's important after a tragedy like this to strike the right balance between investing in awareness and resources and referrals without going to the other extreme of suspecting any kind of unusual behavior," he said.

Nevertheless, he advised against keeping guns in a home where there are concerns about the mental health of anyone - adult or child.

While the Sandy Hook shootings shook the entire nation, they had an even stronger impact on the parents of children with mental and behavioral disorders.

Rosa Morales, who lives in San Bernardino County, has sought psychological help through the school system for her 10-year-old son because of the sudden, angry outbursts that seem to come out of nowhere.

"Once he had a screaming fit when he couldn't pass a level in a reading computer game," she said. "He yelled and screamed that he was a dummy, that all the kids in his class had already passed the level and that he was too dumb to get it right," she said.

Morales fears that her son's tantrums may one day escalate to violence.

Administrators said schools can play an important role beyond recognizing students in distress. They can help parents find low-cost counseling, support groups and other services.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, school districts in the Southland and around the U.S. have been reviewing security procedures and looking for ways to improve student safety.

However, Las Virgenes Superintendent Dan Stepenosky, who wrote his doctoral dissertation on the gunmen in two high-profile school shootings, said the best way to protect students is to get to know them well and to address their mental health issues as soon as they surface.

• Staff Writers Rob Kuznia and Beatriz E. Valenzuela contributed to this report.


WARNING SIGNS OF MENTAL ILLNESS (smf: Warning signs + bullet points are not the same as a psychological evaluation!)

Each mental illness has its own symptoms, although there are some general signs that might alert you that someone needs professional help. These include:

• Marked personality change
• Inability to cope with problems and daily activities
• Excessive anxiety
• Prolonged depression and apathy
• Marked changes in eating or sleeping patterns
• Thinking or talking about suicide or harming oneself
• Extreme mood swings - high or low
• Strange or grandiose ideas
• Abuse of alcohol or drugs
• Excessive anger, hostility, or violent behavior.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health


By Howard Blume, LA Times/LA Now |

December 21, 2012 | 7:53 pm :: Federal officials have rejected California’s request for exemption from rules that penalize low-performing schools and school districts, state officials announced Friday.

The state’s failure to win a “waiver” from the No Child Left Behind law was not entirely a surprise, but was still unwelcome news to officials.

“It is disappointing that our state’s request—which enjoyed such strong support from parents, teachers, administrators and education advocates across California — has apparently been rejected,” said state Supt. of Instruction Tom Torlakson in a statement. “California made a good-faith effort to seek relief from requirements that even federal officials have acknowledged time and again are deeply flawed.”

Under federal rules, more than 6,000 California schools have been labeled as failing. In many cases, these schools are improving, sometimes rapidly. Besides enduring a stigma of failure, these schools must also set aside as much as 20% of their federal funds to transport students to “non-failing” schools and to set up tutoring services with outside vendors. The outside tutoring has been inconsistent and frequently ineffective, according to some experts.

“At a time when resources for schools are so scarce, schools and districts should be able to focus their resources on delivering services they believe will actually improve student performance — a waiver would have provided that flexibility,” said Paul Hefner, a spokesman for the California Department of Education.

The U.S. Department of Education said it would not comment until California has been officially notified of its waiver status, but a department spokesman did not contest the state’s announcement.

The state has engaged in a series of high-profile tiffs with federal officials over school reform—and the waiver application was one of them.

Waivers were offered to spare states from a mandate requiring nearly all students to be academically proficient by 2014. But in exchange, states were expected to develop teacher and principal evaluations that rely substantially on student data, such as standardized test scores, among other requirements.

Teacher unions and other critics, including California Gov. Jerry Brown, have faulted the U.S. Department of Education for taking this position on evaluations.

While most states sought waivers, California may have been the only one to do so while choosing which federal directives to follow in its application, state officials said. To do otherwise, they said, would have cost California an estimated $2 billion in new expenses for unproven reforms.

The federal decision was defended by StudentsFirst, a Sacramento-based advocacy group.

“By submitting an inadequate application, California has precluded the ability of school districts and schools to be flexible and innovative with millions in federal funds,” said spokeswoman Erin Shaw. “It’s time to change the system that rejects accountability and continually risks classroom resources that rightfully belong to students.”

BATTLING OVER SCHOOL GRANTS: Another tussle between the teachers union and the school reform movement, this time over grant applications + smf's 2¢
LA Times Editorial |

December 23, 2012 :: In yet another tussle between the teachers union and the school reform movement, the Los Angeles Unified school board decreed last week that district administrators must obtain board approval before applying for any grants of more than $1 million, in order to ensure that they don't seek out grants that come with problematic strings. The idea is reasonable enough, but the way the new policy is written, it unnecessarily ties the hands of staff without necessarily protecting the district.

During the meeting, board member Richard Vladovic referred to a $50-million grant the district received requiring recipients to institute some form of merit pay and to include student test scores in teacher evaluations — two sore points with the union. Neither policy was in place when the district applied, and Vladovic's concern was that the grant might lead the district to make policy changes that hadn't been approved by the board. The 4-3 vote split along union-friendly versus reform-minded lines.

Supt. John Deasy, who clearly resents this intrusion into his autonomy, says the district doesn't have to change any policies because of the federal grant, though he acknowledges that it would have to give back some or all of the money if it eventually failed to meet the requirements. Deasy complains that the board's action makes the district look hostile to reform-minded grantors and might kill L.A. Unified's chances at future largesse. In any given year, the district generally has billions of dollars of grant money that would be affected by the new policy, most of it for construction.

Deasy's argument goes too far. It's fairly common for school boards to exert their authority over grant applications to avoid conflicts of interest or a move in a dubious direction. We don't particularly favor anti-reform actions by the board, but there's no question that it has the right and responsibility to oversee any promises the district is making through its grant applications.

There are some practical concerns, though. L.A. Unified has no grant-writing department; this supplemental money comes from the efforts of staff who put in extra time and initiative on grants. In August, the school board decided to start meeting half as often — just once a month. But some grants have 45- to 60-day turnarounds, making it hard to get permission in time to write a good proposal. That puts quite a burden on the grant writers. The board should agree to hold emergency meetings when tight deadlines are involved. If the board wants to exercise this level of control, it should be willing to put in the work involved.

Meanwhile, why set the amount at $1 million? If a grant commits the district to an unacceptable promise, it's just as bad whether the amount is $10,000 or $10 million. The board should narrow the kinds of grants affected by this policy based not on the dollar amount but on the issues involved. For instance, it might choose to review all grants that could affect labor contracts, curriculum or school discipline. Chances are the board doesn't need to get involved in most of the construction grants, by far the bigger source of funding.

•• smf’s 2¢: “In August, the school board decided to start meeting half as often — just once a month.”

I think The Times may be onto the biggest part of the problem here. The board members – for all the self-congratulation they award themselves for the time+work they put into running “their schools” – are paid for attending board meetings. They have eliminated half the board meetings. Did they cut their pay for this reduction in basis? …for all those furlough days? When Superintendent Deasy spoke to the amount of grants the District receives he disclosed almost two billion dollars a year – and now balks at disclosing to the board and therefore to the public the sources and terms of this largesse. It’s called transparency and accountability. It’s a good thing.

ROCK ME, MERCY: a poem written in mourning
from npr/ read aloud at

The river stones are listening because we have something to say.
The trees lean closer today.
The singing in the electrical woods has gone down.
It looks like rain, because it is too warm to snow.
Guardian angels, wherever you're hiding,
we know you can't be everywhere at once.
Have you corralled all the pretty wild horses?
The memory of ants asleep and day lilies, roses, holly and larkspur?
The magpies gaze at us, still waiting.
River stones are listening.
But all we can say now is mercy, please rock me
- Yusef Komunyakaa :: 12/14/2012
poet & distinguished professor of English at NYU

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources
Editorial by LA Daily News/LA Newspaper Group Opinion staff |

THE NRA & THE SCHOOL ARMS RACE: Why deescalate when you can escalate?:
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
- NRA honcho Wayne LaPierre
“The only thing that stops a really bad idea is the combination of truth and education.”
- smf




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View summary
17 Dec Scott Folsom Scott Folsom ‏@4LAKids

Deasy: "District has never cutback on security even though the LAUSD has experienced devastating budget cuts." Let 4LAKids know otherwise!


What can YOU do?
• E-mail, call or write your school board member: • 213-241-6386 • 213-241-6180 • 213-241-5555 • 213-241-6382 • 213-241-6388 • 213-241-6385 • 213-241-6387
...or your city councilperson, mayor, the governor, member of congress, senator - or the president. Tell them what you really think! • Find your state legislator based on your home address. Just go to: • There are 26 mayors and five county supervisors representing jurisdictions within LAUSD, the mayor of LA can be reached at • 213.978.0600
• Call or e-mail Governor Brown: 213-897-0322 e-mail:
• Open the dialogue. Write a letter to the editor. Circulate these thoughts. Talk to the principal and teachers at your local school.
• Speak with your friends, neighbors and coworkers. Stay on top of education issues. Don't take my word for it!
• Get involved at your neighborhood school. Join your PTA. Serve on a School Site Council. Be there for a child.
• If you are eligible to become a citizen, BECOME ONE.
• If you a a citizen, REGISTER TO VOTE.
• If you are registered, VOTE LIKE THE FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT. THEY DO!.

Who are your elected federal & state representatives? How do you contact them?

Scott Folsom is a parent leader in LAUSD and is Parent/Volunteer of the Year for 2010-11 for Los Angeles County. • He is Past President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA and represented PTA on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee for ten years. He is a Health Commissioner, Legislation Team member and a member of the Board of Managers of the California State PTA. He serves on numerous school district advisory and policy committees and has served as a PTA officer and governance council member at three LAUSD schools. He is the recipient of the UTLA/AFT 2009 "WHO" Gold Award for his support of education and public schools - an honor he hopes to someday deserve. • In this forum his opinions are his own and your opinions and feedback are invited. Quoted and/or cited content copyright © the original author and/or publisher. All other material copyright © 4LAKids.
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